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with which she stowed away the satisfying German provender that she had enjoyed an early and light breakfast, followed by brisk exercise in getting to the ship. The tables were gay with flowers; the company looked happy, handsome, and well-dressed; the music was inspiring. Friends left behind seemed suddenly very far away. We had become a little world all to ourselves—most of us strangers to one another, but thrown in a narrow compass here and likely to remain associates for weeks, even months. What a big, jolly picnic it was, after all!
Outside it was bleak and squally, but no matter. The air was fine and salt and invigorating. The old Quaker City had been held by storm at anchor in the lower bay. We were already down the Narrows and heading straight for the open sea. Land presently lost its detail and became a dark outline. That, too, sank lower and became grayer and fell back into the mist.
I remembered that certain travellers had displayed strong emotions on seeing their native land disappear. I had none—none of any consequence. I had symptoms, though, and I recognized them. Like Laura, aged fourteen, I had taken a shorter voyage on a poorer ship, and I had decided that this would be different. I had engaged a steamer-chair, and soon after luncheon I thought I would take a cigar and a book on Italy and come out here and sit in it—in the chair, of course—and smoke and think and look out to sea. But when I got to the door of my state-room and felt the great vessel take a slow, curious side-step and caught a faint whiff of linoleum and varnish from the newly renovated cabin, I decided
to forego the cigar and guide-book and take a volume on mind cure instead.
It seems a good ship, though, and I feel that we shall all learn to be proud of her, in time. In a little prospectus pamphlet I have here I find some of her measurements and capacities, and I have been comparing them with those of the Quaker City, the first steamer to set out on this Oriental cruise. If she were travelling along beside us to-day I suppose she would look like a private yacht. She must have had trouble with a sea like this. She was little more than two hundred feet long, I believe, and, as already mentioned, her tonnage was registered at eighteen hundred. The figures set down in the prospectus for this vessel are a good deal bigger than those, but they are still too modest. The figures quote her as being a trifle less than six hundred feet long, but I can see in both directions from where I sit, and I am satisfied that it would take me hours to get either to her bow or stern. I don't believe I could do it in that time. I am convinced that it is at least half a mile to my state-room.
The prospectus is correct, however, in one item. It says that the Kurfürst has a displacement of twentytwo thousand tons. That is handsome, and it is not too much; I realized that some moments ago. When I felt our noble vessel “sashay” in her slow majestic fashion toward Cuba, and then pause to revolve the matter a little, and after concluding to sink, suddenly set out in a long, slow, upward slide for the moon, I knew that her displacement was all that is claimed for it, and I prepared for the worst; so did Laura, and started for her state-room suddenly. ...
Later: I don't know how many of our party went down to dinner. I know one that did not go. The music is good, but I can hear it very well from where I am. No doubt the dinner is good, too, but I am satisfied to give it absent treatment.
There is a full-blown Scientist in the next room. She keeps saying “Mind is all. Mind is all. This is nothing. This is—this is just—" after which, the Earthquake.
What an amazing ocean it is to be able to toss this mighty ship about in such a way! I suppose there is no hope of her sinking. No hope!
Somebody sent me a basket of fruit. I vaguely wonder what it is like, and if I shall ever know ? I suppose there are men who could untie that paper and look at it. I could stand in awe of a man like that. I could
However, it is no matter; there is no such man.
But it was bright next morning, though a heavy sea was still running. I was by no means perfectly happy, but I struggled on deck quite early, and found company. A stout youngish man was marching round and round vigorously as if the number of laps he might achieve was vital. He fetched up suddenly as I stepped on deck. He spoke with quick energy.
“Look here,” he said, earnestly, “perhaps you can tell me; it's important, and I want to know: is a seasick man better off if he walks or sits still? I'm seasick. I confess it, fully. My interior economy is all disqualified, and I want advice. Now tell me, is a seasick man better off when he walks or when he sits still ?"
I gave it up, and the Diplomat (we learned later that he was connected with the consular service) passed to the next possible source of information. I heard him propounding his inquiries several times during the morning as new arrivals appeared on deck.
He was the most honest man on the ship. The rest of us did not confess that we were seasick. We had a bad cold or rheumatism or dyspepsia or locomotorataxia or pleurisy—all sorts of things—but we were not seasick. It was remarkable what a floating hospital of miscellaneous complaints the ship had
become, and how suddenly they all disappeared that afternoon when the sea went down.
It was Lincoln's Birthday, and, inspired by the lively appearance of the deck, a kindly promoter of entertainment went among the passengers inviting them to take part in some sort of simple exercises for the evening. Our pleasure excursion seemed really to have begun now, and walking leisurely around the promenade-deck one could get a fair impression of our company and cast the horoscope. They were a fair average of Americans, on the whole, with a heavy percentage of foreign faces, mostly German. Referring to the passenger-list, one discovered that we hailed from many States; but when I drifted into the German purlieus of that register and found such prefixes as Herr Regierungs-präsident a. D., and Frau Regierungs-präsident a. D., and looking further discovered Herr Kommerzienrat, Herr Oberpräsidialrat von, and a few more high-power explosives like that, I said, “This is not an excursion, after all; it is a court assembly.” I did not know in the least what these titles meant, but I was uneasy. I had the feeling that the owner of any one of them could nod to the executioner and dismiss me permanently from the ship. The interpreter came along just then. He said:
“Do not excite yourself. They are not so dangerous as they look. It is only as one would say, “Mr. and Mrs. Councilmanofthethirdward Jones, or Mr. MayorofOshkosh Smith, or Mrs. Commissionerofhighways Brown.' It is pure decoration; nothing fatal will occur." I felt better then, and set out to identify some of the owners of this furniture. It was as the